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Communications and Media

War in Ukraine: American University Experts Available for Commentary


The war in Ukraine is tearing apart families, homes, and the land itself, with explosions echoing across the country and half a million people fleeing to neighboring European countries. As today’s first round of negotiations between Ukraine and Russia conclude without a cease-fire, American University experts are available for commentary on a variety issues related to the war in Ukraine. They include, U.S. foreign policy, conflict resolution and peace building, refugees and forced displacement, NATO and European politics.

In addition, beyond politics and foreign policy, American University experts are available to discuss international finance, impacts of financial sanctions on Russia and global markets, the divesture of Russia in sovereign wealth funds, the role of social media during conflicts, misinformation and the banning of propaganda on social networks, portrayals of refugees and people of color on news and social media, and more.


February 28, 2022 - ongoing

Experts available for comments include:

Valentina Bruno is a professor of finance at the Kogod School of Business and holds a Ph.D. in Finance from the London School of Economics. Her research interests include international finance, macro-finance, global liquidity, corporate governance, and banking. Prior to joining KSB, Prof. Bruno worked at the World Bank in the Financial Sector Strategy and Policy Group and in the International Finance Team (DECPG). She speaks with business media often and has had her research in The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and Financial Times, among others.

Susanna Campbell is an Assistant Professor at the School of International Service and the Director of the Research on International Policy Implementation Lab (RIPIL) at American University. She is an expert on state-building, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, international aid, and global governance and can discuss issues related to international aid delivery and long-term peacebuilding process. Prof. Campbell previously worked at the United Nations, International Crisis Group, and the Council on Foreign Relations. In 2018, she served as a senior advisor to the Congressional Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States, mandated by the US Congress.

Keith Darden, associate professor in the School of International Service, is an expert on nationalism, state-building, and the politics of Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. His forthcoming book, Resisting Occupation in Eurasia, explores the development of durable national loyalties through education and details how they explain over a century of regional patterns in voting, secession, and armed resistance in Ukraine, Eurasia and the world. His award-winning first book, Economic Liberalism and Its Rivals explored the formation of international economic institutions among the post-Soviet states, and explained why countries chose to join the Eurasian Customs Union, the WTO, or to eschew participation in any trade institutions.

James Goldgeier is a professor at the School of International Service. He is a Robert Bosch Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution, and he serves as a member of the State Department Historical Advisory Committee. Prof. Goldgeier has held a number of public policy appointments, including Director for Russian, Ukrainian and Eurasian Affairs on the National Security Council Staff, Whitney Shepardson Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Henry A. Kissinger Chair at the Library of Congress, and Edward Teller National Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Hrach Gregorian is the Administrative Director of the International Peace & Conflict Resolution Program at American University’s School of International Service. He is an expert on conflict resolution and peacebuilding with field experience in the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans, Central and East Asia. Gregorian served as one of the founding program directors at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). He developed the Institute’s first professional training program in conflict analysis and negotiation and is one of the co-founders of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, the largest US-based membership organization of institutions and professionals in the field of peace and conflict management.

Jane Hall is an associate professor in the School of Communication, specializing in researching, writing, and teaching about the intersection of media and politics. She is the author of the recently published book, Politics and the Media: Intersections and New Directions. In her book she explores the "CNN effect," of international news coverage of wars and humanitarian crises, US and international networks. She often speaks with media and can discuss and critique war coverage of international networks and any mishaps they have made in covering the first major European war in decades.

Garret Martin is the co-director of the Transatlantic Policy Center at American University. He has written widely on transatlantic relations and Europe, security, U.S. foreign policy, NATO, European politics, and European foreign policy and defense. He is a frequent media commentator, providing analysis and interviews, among others, to NPR, the BBC, CNN, Voice of America, USA Today, WUSA, ABC News Australia and France 24.

Jason Mollica is a professorial lecturer in the School of Communication, is a former radio and television anchor/reporter/producer. Prof. Mollica is available to comment and discuss topics related to media and politics, especially campaign messaging and how they are viewed and examined through social and digital media. He can also comment on political debates, current issues, and how it impacts the history of U.S. politics.

Ghiyath Nakshbendi is a senior professorial lecturer at the Kogod School of Business. He is an expert in finance, microfinance, international business and the global marketplace. He has extensive international business experience and more than 35 years working in developmental financing, and Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs). He can provide commentary on the divesture of Russian funds by sovereign wealth funds.

Tazreena Sajjad, Senior Professorial Lecturer at the School of International Service (SIS), is an expert on transitional justice, refugees and forced displacement, post-conflict governance, and the role of gender in conflict and peacebuilding. Her current research projects include examining the role of fortifications against irregular migrant flows, and refugee reception in the Global South. She currently serves as an advisor to Refugee Solidarity Network (RSN) and is a faculty affiliate of The Transatlantic Policy Center and The Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.

Scott Talan is an assistant professor in the School of Communication. He is an expert in social media and personal branding honed through communications experience in four distinct fields: TV News, Politics, Nonprofits/NGO's and Higher Education. He is available to comment on social media, how politicians use social media and media and politics.

Sherri Williams is an assistant professor in the School of Communication. Her expertise lies at the intersection of social media, social justice, mass media and how people of color use and are represented by these mediums. Williams can discuss the portrayal of Ukarian refugees of African or non-European descent by the media, and offensive language used by broadcasters describing the war.

Heng Xu is the director of the Kogod Cybersecurity Governance Center and a professor in Kogod’s department of information technology & analytics. She is an expert in AI governance, privacy protection, data ethics, algorithmic fairness, analytical transparency, and accountability. Her research has received many awards and secured highly coveted grants. Dr. Xu also teaches classes in cybersecurity risk management and governance.

Nan Zhang is a professor of information technology and analytics in AU’s Kogod School of Business and a research fellow at the Kogod Cybersecurity Governance Center (KCGC). His expertise is in data privacy, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and regulatory issues. His current research focuses on the proper use of data analytics and machine learning to understand people’s preferences and behavior, especially pertaining to important business and regulatory decisions.

Media Contact: For more information about this event please contact AU Media at or 202-885-5950.